Do you want a canine companion? Do you understand what you will be responsible once you take possession of your dog? There are many responsibilities which come with dog ownership, and they start the first time you bring your puppy home. This article will show you the ropes and get you ready for your new best friend.

Avoid insisting that your dog socialize nicely with every other passing dog. Experts recommend that your dog be able to tolerate introductions through sniffing and eying with another animal, but say forcing the issue can create problems. Accept your dog’s lead when meeting and greeting other animals and allow for natural interaction.

If you have medication is your home, even if it is just over-the-counter medication, place it where your dog cannot access it. Just a few of your pills can be disastrous for the dog, inducing a heart attack or seizure. If your dog eats your medication, see a vet right away.

When training your puppy or dog, keep the sessions short! Experts say that a dog has the attention span of a small child, sometimes less, and that longer sessions will actually cause him to forget everything you’ve learned together. Use positive reinforcement and limit your training sessions to no more than 15 minutes.

Take your grown dog to the vet at least once a year. The vet will check to see if the dog’s vaccines up to date. In addition, the vet will check the dog’s teeth and vital signs. If any major health or behavioral issues come up between annual checkups, you should see the vet earlier.

Not everyone is good at training dogs, so quit trying if you see things are not going as well as planned. Instead of beating yourself up about it, get in touch with a trainer in your area. Since they have more experience with dogs, it may be much easier for them to train yours.

Keep your dog at a healthy weight. Plenty of dogs are overweight, and just like humans, this can lead to health issues. People tend to overfeed their dogs, and many also feed them table scraps. A dog doesn’t need as many calories as most people think; talk to your vet about how much you should feed him each day, and what food is most suitable. A vet will advise you based on his size, age and lifestyle.

Teach your dog to be trained, even if you don’t plan on devoting a lot of time to special tricks. A dog needs to understand the basic hierarchy of the home and should be prepared to listen and learn throughout his life. Practice the basics like “sit” and “down” in the beginning and introduce something new every once in a while.

Avoid issues of jealously if you have more than one animal. Particularly if you bring a young dog into the home of an older dog, problems can arise. Be considerate of the patience and energy levels of your senior dog and make sure his feelings aren’t hurt by giving the new guy all the attention.

Make sure you have the correct dog supplies. Before bringing your dog home for the first time, be sure that you are equipped with the right supplies. Every dog needs a good sized food and water bowl, a collar and leash, toys, and a comfy place to sleep. Also, remember to purchase an identification tag immediately.

Let your dog know who is boss! Unless shown otherwise, a dog will naturally assume that he is the leader of the pack – once this has been established it is quite difficult to persuade him otherwise! When disciplining your dog, be firm in tone, but calm. Never punish a dog in a physical manner, as this will lead to lifelong mistrust. Also, when he behaves, remember to praise him!

If you’re on a tight budget at home, think carefully before getting a dog. They actually cost hundreds of dollars annually, but many people don’t realize this until they’ve actually forked over the money. Depending on the size and regular maintenance requirements of your new dog, you could be getting in way over your head and forced to part with him later so make sure beforehand.

Know your dog’s behavior and body rhythms well, to keep him at his healthiest. Medical issues often present themselves in slight nuances early on and if you know your dog, you’ll see them. Pay attention to input and output, sleep duration, energy levels and so forth to keep on top of important issues that affect his health.

To prevent the hair around a dog’s paws from matting, you should keep it trimmed. A comb is a good tool to straighten the dog’s fur before trimming. If you are not comfortable with this process, it would be a good idea for you to go and get it done by a professional groomer.

It is very common for objects to get lodged in the pads of your dogs paws. Check them regularly to make sure that nothing is in there. If you see something, be very careful about taking it out, or it may become lodged even deeper. It is a wise to use tweezers for this.

When you own a dog, you typically understand the general costs of ownership, such as food, vet visits, and grooming. A generally overlooked cost is emergency situations. Although it may not happen frequently, you should have a bit of money set aside for any emergency that may arise. It’s better to be prepared for an emergency vet visit than to wonder how you are going to pay for it.

The knowledge you have gained from reading this article in full will prepare you to bring your dog to your home once and for all. Once you have everything you need and your home is puppy proofed, go and find yourself a best friend. You’ll give them the life they deserve and provide yourself with endless hours of love.